Why Graduation Isn’t All it’s Jacked Up to Be.

by JacquelineTeer

Why Graduation isn't All it's Jacked Up to Be

It’s not the diploma, but what has been learnt in its pursuit. As far as I was concerned, I had a very fulfilling journey.

Why was it that I didn’t feel all that celebratory, then? I had learnt lessons! Lots of them!

A graduation ceremony was supposed to be like enjoying the view after having climbed a mountain.

Yet, that wasn’t quite the best fitting metaphor since whilst graduating, I was still stuck in thinking ahead. It was difficult to truly look back and recognize my previous efforts.

Suddenly, I felt silently embarrassed at myself. I was sat thinking of myself, certain that this day was going to be worth all my efforts. Deflated, I hadn’t realized that I had made a 4-year-commitment climax into receiving a diploma.

The diploma, now, an anticlimactic end to a highly memorable journey.

Was this journey going to be made anyways without the diploma? Yes. Was it any less with it? No… Yet I was still sitting there, with my ‘empty’ diploma wishing I hadn’t glorified this day to the extent that I had. It felt almost insulting that my 4 years had been summed up in a few hours, and a rolled up piece of paper. A rolled up piece of paper that attempted to stamp my journey as ‘good enough’ and ejected me into the pile of students who were in likeness, ‘good enough’.

That day, I had learnt one more lesson. It was to be my first lesson as a graduate.

Nothing can amount to the value of the knowledge you learn everyday, not even a prestigious diploma. This knowledge is what you celebrate, not moving onto a new chapter”–whatever that even means, not “graduating,” and definitely not receiving a diploma.

Thankfully, I also realized that this lesson-learnt drives into one of the core principles of “wandering.” We must wander, and celebrate not trivial accomplishments, but the joy of wandering when we are able to do so.